Film Fest Coverage II: The Sequel

The M-SPIFF's second week brings 'The World' and more

OR
Block E 15, Saturday at 9:45 p.m.; and Lagoon Cinema, Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

Winner of the Camera d'Or at Cannes, this riveting Israeli feature follows a 16-year-old girl named Or (Dana Ivgi), who struggles to keep her mother (Ronit Elkabetz), a prostitute, off the streets and the pills. Parental imprinting proves not so easily erased, as Or, which means "light" in Hebrew, turns to whoring herself in order to make up for her own deficiencies in love and money. The inherent intensity of the material is increased even further by director Keren Yedaya's impressively minimalist style.--Jeremy O'Kasick


RHYTHM IS IT!
Oak Street Cinema, Sunday at 5:00 p.m.; and Lagoon Cinema, Monday at 7:15 p.m.

Former (and future) high school drama geeks will adore this snappy doc about the collaboration between the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and 250 young dancers, most of whom have never set foot in a rehearsal studio. Leaving only weeks to learn the choreography of Stravinsky's "Le sacre du printemps," the project becomes a kind of modern-dance boot camp that tests the kids' endurance on every level. The film resembles Robert Altman's The Company--except that Altman didn't keep nagging us about how uplifting it all is.. --Jim Ridley


THE GIRL FROM MONDAY
The Bell, Sunday at 5:15 p.m.

In which the Godard of Long Island tries in vain to visit Alphaville. Set about five minutes into the future, in a corporate-controlled world where people have sex with one another to increase their purchasing power, Hal Hartley's latest takes a clever-enough idea and overloads it with endlessly canted camera angles, stilted voiceovers, and the headache-inducing trick of shooting only five or 10 frames per second. (Is this a cartoon flipbook or a movie?) Most disappointing of all for Hartley admirers is the absence of laughs. --Derek Nystrom


CLEAN
Oak Street Cinema, Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Following his full-tilt Demonlover, director Olivier Assayas tells a story that's...well, cleaner. Maggie Cheung plays Emily Wang, an Asian-Canadian junkie whose washed-up rock-star partner ODs, leaving her with a young son and the dead man's distrusting father (Nick Nolte). Six months later and broke, Emily moves to Paris and attempts to rebuild her life--to kick drugs and get her son back from his grandfather. But gnawing at her newfound sense of responsibility are thoughts of a possible recording career. Within this familiar scenario, Assayas (who'll be present at the screening) highlights the awkwardness of his heroine's search for redemption, and the film's tears feel earned. --Mark Peranson

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